Published on 09/14/2012
By Eli Shiffrin, Carsten Haese, and James Bennett
This Article from: Carsten Haese
An exclusive glimpse into the future
If you'd rather be surprised at the Prerelease and keep your Cranial Insertion experience spoiler-free, you should stop reading here and come back on Monday for our regular spoiler-free episode. If you're interested in our preview card, read on!
Since we're a Rules Q&A column that answers questions submitted by readers, presenting a preview card that our readers haven't seen yet posed a bit of a problem. Fortunately, Moko knows a Time Lord and cashed in a favor, so he was able to get a few questions that our readers will ask in the future. You might wonder whether answering those questions now will cause them not to be asked in the future, giving rise to a paradox that will destroy the universe. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. I'm willing to take that risk.
So, without further ado, here is the card we're talking about today:
And here are the questions our readers might ask about it in the future:
Q: Does Psychic Spiral shuffle itself into my library and count itself for how many cards to mill?
A: No and no. While Psychic Spiral is resolving, it's lounging about on the stack while the commotion of all that shuffling and milling is happening elsewhere, so it's not in your graveyard yet. When Psychic Spiral is finished, it goes to your freshly empty graveyard.
Q: What happens if my opponent pops Tormod's Crypt in response to my Psychic Spiral?
A: This most likely means that your graveyard is empty when Psychic Spiral resolves. Rule 701.16e tells us how to shuffle an empty graveyard into your library:
701.16e If an effect would cause a player to shuffle a set of objects into a library, that library is shuffled even if there are no objects in that set.
In other words, you still shuffle your library, and then your opponent mills a whopping 0 cards.
Note that you'll get the same result if you just cast Psychic Spiral while your graveyard is empty, which may be useful if you really just need to shuffle your library.
Q: Can I use Redirect on my Psychic Spiral to force my opponent to shuffle his graveyard into his library?
A: Nope. Psychic Spiral instructs its controller to shuffle his or her graveyard into his or her library. That part isn't targeted, so it can't be Redirected.
Q: If I target my opponent with Psychic Spiral and he manages to give himself hexproof in response, do I still shuffle?
A: No, sorry. Psychic Spiral only has one target, and if that target is illegal when Psychic Spiral resolves, it's countered and none of its effects happen.
Q: What happens if my opponent has fewer cards left in his library than Psychic Spiral is making him mill? Does he lose the game right away?
A: Not right away, no. Simply having an empty library, or even being forced to mill a card from an empty library, is not a reason to lose the game. Your opponent will only lose the game once he is forced to draw a card from his empty library, possibly as soon as his next draw step if he can't get cards back into his library.
That concludes our mini-episode about Psychic Spiral. I hope the universe is still in one piece. If so, please come back next Monday for our regularly scheduled episode!
- Carsten Haese
About the Author:
Carsten Haese is a DCI-certified Level 2 judge based in Toledo, OH. He occasionally judges events in the Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan area, and he is a prolific contributor and moderator for the Rulings forum on MTGSalvation.